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How Can We Overcome The Ego?

Laitman_514_02The Torah, “Numbers,” 14:4 – 14:7: They said to each other, “Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt!” Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before the entire congregation of the children of Israel. Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had scouted the land, tore their clothes. They spoke to the entire congregation of the children of Israel, saying, “The land we passed through to scout is an exceedingly good land.”

The spies who were sent to spy in the land of Israel crossed it to its length and breadth. They explored the land on all the levels, which means all the vessels, all the five levels of NRNHY, and discovered that it is good.

The Torah, “Numbers,” 14:8 – 14:9: “If the Lord desires us, He will bring us to this land and give it to us—a land flowing with milk and honey. But you shall not rebel against the Lord, and you will not fear the people of that land for they are [as] our bread. Their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.”

The nations who lived in the land of Israel are our giant egoistic desires. When a person understands that he cannot overcome his impulses and sees his egoistic rival inside him, he simply surrenders and lets the ego do whatever it wants with him; or he may try to do something, but he cannot overcome the ego and has no powers to do so. Only if he connects to a group, to an environment, can he receive powers from them and then be able to overcome this obstacle, just like twenty small men can overcome one giant, for example.

Therefore, when Caleb and Joshua say that the time of the egoistic desires is over and if the nation of Israel goes along with the Creator, they mean that it is by His power that they will be able to enslave the ego, to smash it underneath them. Then all the egoistic obstacles that they see in the form of giants will function properly.

Question: What does it mean that they “rent their clothes?”

Answer: It means that all the previous external Masachim (Screens), the Returning Light, all the clothing they had, are not suitable for the new level. Now they need to be dressed in a totally different Returning Light. This means that they have to change their clothes. In our world there is a custom that when someone dies his relatives tear their clothes in his funeral. This means that they are just about to reach a new level. It is not the person who dies, but his ego, and therefore we bury it. This is the reason that we mourn the dead for seven days, gradually leaving him and once you are totally free of the previous level, you change your clothes and start a new life. The days of mourning, the seven days, thirty days, and the year symbolize reincarnations, when the same Reshimot (spiritual genes) return and you gradually raise them until the end of correction.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 4/15/15

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The Romance Of The Spiritual Building

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If we still have not yet reached the spiritual revelation, but are only studying, are we doing spiritual work, or not?

Answer: You are doing spiritual work because you want to attain spirituality, although you are still not in it. It is similar to a person who builds a house. It is possible to build it over 20 years, but you are occupied by building a house. You have a goal to achieve spirituality and you progress and approach it until you enter in it. Even if it would take 20 years; so what is the problem?

Question: What is more important: to study and prepare for the ascent towards the spirituality or to be in spirituality itself? Once you said that the Creator loves us more when we are only preparing ourselves and not that we are in spirituality itself?

Answer: Indeed, as long as you are preparing yourself, you are making efforts like a baby, like a little child that you doesn’t know yet towards what you are going. Precisely at the place of concealment you have more opportunities to activate and reveal your attitude towards the Creator, “the force of faith.” Like in our world we are most touched by and enjoy more from a small child.

In spirituality it is not like that, and yet there is charm of this naivety, from this loyal yearning as compliance between the root and the branch. The biggest reward comes and is revealed to a person as a result of his effort in the time of his period of concealment, in these 20 years.

We think that this preparation period is lost time and we would like to avoid it in order to enter the spirituality as fast as possible and to really start working in full understanding. But we do not understand that it’s precisely these years that are so valuable. And here is the problem, because only the one that truly has a real desire to stay remains, and the others disappear.

Question: What is a true desire?

Answer: A true desire is called a Reshimo that is intended for correction, depending on the root of the soul.

Question: But we all want to cross the Machsom?

Answer: Of course everyone wants this. But one comes to study twice a week, like you, and others are coming every day. There are those that are watching football in the evening, and there are other people that go out to disseminate.

Question: How can I cause this real desire that you are talking about to appear inside me?

Answer: With the help of the environment.

Question: But I’m already in such a wonderful environment! What else can I do with it?

Answer: You need to integrate with it so that you will become one whole without any differences. This is called being as one man in one heart. And here is all the difficulty. You promise yourself each time to do it, but when the opportunity arrives, you suddenly sneak away from it. But with it, if you simply stay and study, then time will do its work.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/5/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam

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Time Of Judgment

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why is it thought that Rosh HaShanah is the beginning of passing judgment on yourself?

Answer: Before Rosh HaShanah there is a period in which the person apparently checks his previous states and expresses regret, repents, cries, and then asks for help from above. That is how he apparently softens his heart, transforming it from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh. This is tradition, and the main thing is that the person will begin to understand that he must relate to life in a new way.

Question: Meaning that this is talking about good deeds, those he must begin in the New Year, on Rosh HaShanah?

Answer: Good deeds are corrections of the self, because when he corrects himself, he corrects the world. That is how he builds a system of mutual integration and unity in which the Creator is revealed and for which it is necessary to bring all the substance of the still, vegetative, and animate levels to correction and, in particular, the level of the speaking.
From KabTV’s “Holidays. Rosh HaShana” 8/6/12

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laitman_293Question: This a special time before Rosh HaShanah (the Jewish new year) when people say Selichot (prayers of forgiveness). What is the meaning of saying Selichot?

Answer: The word “Selichot “already means that we have to ask for forgiveness during this time, for the sins and transgressions we have committed. But what does it mean?

We received only one commandment during the time of the Torah: “Love thy friend as thyself, is the great rule of the Torah.”

If we keep this commandment, we reach the love of the Creator. This is the whole goal of life and of humanity, a goal thanks to which we rise above this world until the level of the upper force. A person has to attain all that in his lifetime in this world, in our ordinary reality.

A person corrects himself consistently until he begins to love others like himself, and from the love of the created beings he reaches the love of the Creator. This love is called bestowal, giving. If I ascend above my ego and connect to others, I can do everything for their sake.

On the other hand, if I remain in my egoistic nature, it will never allow me to perform any altruistic acts, no matter how hard I try. It is impossible to imagine that I will suddenly love someone else and will be ready to give him everything that I have as if he were my own baby.

Our ego hinders and confuses us, diverting us from the direction of bestowal, leading us in the opposite direction, opposite to unity, connection, and bestowal unto others. At the same time, the world is forced to become increasingly more integral and so we witness more and more problems as our life becomes more and more difficult.

Nature on the whole: the world of still, vegetative, and animate nature are drawn to integral unity. Nature pushes us towards unity, but we don’t want it. We are like children locked up in a room constantly fighting with each other.

This is how the world advances towards the recognition of evil, of its egoistic nature, that doesn’t let us reach the goal of creation the Torah tells us about: unity, connection, and love.

The Torah tells us about the major law of the existence of the world since the general nature that surrounds our world is based on love and bestowal. It is opposite from what happens with us here on this planet in this closed sphere.

When the nation of Israel received the Torah at Mount Sinai, they accepted the condition that they will always focus their forces on attaining love of others. This is the major law of the Torah, and by keeping it we advance together with all of nature towards one goal.

But because our nature is opposite from this love, we need help from Above. We need the Light that Reforms. If we ask for help, we invoke the force that corrects our nature and helps us build the right connections between us.

A person was initially created with an egoistic nature and doesn’t accept unity and love of others, but at the same time, there is a means of correcting this ego, which is the Torah, the Light that Reforms.

In other words, there is a special force called the upper world, which influences a person and changes his nature into the opposite nature, which means that it reforms him and changes his nature from evil to goodness by correcting his evil inclination into a good inclination.

So the goal is clear: We have to reach the fulfillment of the law of love thy friend as thyself and by that reach the love of the Creator. This is the general trend of all of nature. But we will not be able to be incorporated in the right direction and advance in the right velocity towards correction if we don’t demand the Light that Reforms and don’t use the Creator the way we should. So we have to examine ourselves in order to understand what is happening to us.

Then we discover that we aren’t advancing along the right path. Every step along the path of correction is called a Mitzvah (commandment), which means the fulfillment of the instruction “love thy friend as thyself.” This whole path towards love is divided into 613 steps, 613 actions called Mitzvot.

This means that we have to keep correcting ourselves consistently, until we reach the love of others. Correcting ourselves by 612 actions we reach the 613th Mitzvah, which is love.

Therefore, before Rosh HaShanah we say Selichot. During this time we examine ourselves: “What did we do during the last year; how close have we gotten to love of others, to the connection of the whole nation of Israel?”

Here we see that we haven’t done anything, and even if we have, it was very little. This is what we ask forgiveness for! We must examine our actions in order to see to what extent they are opposite from the right direction and accordingly acknowledge our mistakes and transgressions in the states we have undergone. This is where the forgiveness arrives.
From KabTV’s “Selichot” 8/17/15

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It Is Impossible To Hide From People

Dr. Michael LaitmanA time of confession and repentance is a time of discovering the characteristics that don’t allow me to connect with others. And so this happens before the beginning of correction, meaning before the beginning of the new Hebrew year. First of all, I need to clarify what is bothering me. It is reasonable that this is my ego and that I simply don’t want to connect and unite.

Question: I really don’t want to! A life in paradise is sitting alone on the beach where there are no people around me except for one or two who are close to me and whom I need. But you say it is paradise when we are united, won’t it be too crowded?

Answer: It won’t be too crowded for us. We will feel perfect harmony within this connection because nobody will bother us.

Comment: Every year I travel to the most remote place for a vacation where there is not a living soul. For me this is paradise.

Answer: This is opposite to the way of solving our problem of disunity, trying to escape the evil and hiding in a place where there are no people at all.

But you can remain among everyone and feel comfortable, as if you were alone, but feeling much better. Everything depends only on my relationships with the others and how much they pressure and force me to depend on them.

This refers to correcting our relationships with each other, when I will feel all people as parts of a single body. That is, they will no longer bother me; on the contrary, each one will be required because he will always be ready to help me with anything I want or need. This will be an ideal connection.

Anyway, we still cannot get along without people. We have no choice, we must be together. Today there are seven billion people on Earth and in another 50 to a 100 years there will be twice as many of us. So there is nowhere to hide from one another; we must understand that the general program of nature is to make us into one person with one heart. And then I will truly feel that nobody around me is superfluous in spite of there being millions of people around me. I will not feel like I am in a crowd, but on the contrary, I will feel how each one is necessary and completes my desire.

Regret and repentance are necessary to come to this in the month of Elul, which is the discovery of the desires in me that prevent connection. It is enough to discover and expose them, and in that same moment, they go through correction. If I consider them to be a sin, they are immediately corrected through the Light that Reforms. Nothing is required from us other than the discovery of our egoistic nature and the internal resistance to connection with others. And it is good that this evil is revealed, as the Light hates our egoistic society and is ready to correct it in a moment with our first request.

Question: Why is it bad to have the desire to be alone?

Answer: Because the goal of creation is to bring us to unity, and when you move away from that, you oppose the goal of creation and suffer from moving in the opposite direction. It would be possible to correct my connection with others and feel myself in a harmonious, ideal and wonderful state among millions of people, but instead of this, I escape for a week to be alone, at least for a little bit, and then I have to come back again. I could feel as if I am on vacation all year, as if there were nobody around me!

After all, it’s not like we have somewhere to escape to. We require the services of other people; we need doctors, chefs, grocers, and bankers. We are forced to work and serve others, earn money, and take care of a family. So we must establish relationships with other people.

Look at what is happening in the world because we aren’t doing this—the recent current events and the massive invasion of immigrants who are trying to break into Europe. Nature brings us extreme situations like these that require us to find a way for the right connection.
From the Israeli Radio Program 103FM, 8/30/15

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